Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oops is a BIG sale for YOU!

I misblogged on the reduced price of Stepping to Sleep, the restorative power sleep program for dancers. It was $10.00 off the retail price of $35.00,   NOT $10.00 as is blogged on Notes FromUpstageLeft.


HERE IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO FOR YOU in time for your Spring Shows, summer intensives and auditions.

Tuesday, March 31, from 12:00 am to 11:59 PM, 
Stepping to Sleep will be $10.00 (plus S/H).

$10.00 for you!

You won't believe the power of this program. The best thing is you  put your feet up and go to sleep and improve your dancing. I guarantee it. Since Dance Magazine recommended it June, 2008, performers are realizing that tossing and turning, not sleeping well enough and staying up worrying about performances is a waste of time when you can be sleeping and conditioning your mind at the same time. Believe me you will feel different and dance stronger.

Be a well slept dancer! Your teachers will notice as Caitlin's did in Louisiana. Her teacher poo pooed that sleep was the sole influence in her change until SHE SLEPT!  Belive y still have to work and train, however, imagine if you were not tired! Dance rested.

You'll learn why sleep is vital to dance AND the most important reason why you need to sleep.

If you have any questions - you are welcome to call me 412.344.2272, and I will get back to you personally.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

DanceMind & Notes From UpStage Left

DanceMind is being featured on this blog today! Cassandra Schaffer, a dance teacher and dancer, is the writer of this blog. She discusses anything dance in a way that is fun and quirky. She teaches and inspires through her musings. Ck it out -

ALSO, to help all of you with your upcoming performances and as another way to get the word out that dancers can use mental training to strengthen performance, even if you have no stage fright or issues. I dropped Stepping to Sleep audio $10.00! That is over 30% -- I am not going to compute it exactly.

SLEEP - Even if you sleep, are restless at night or toss and turn with worry, this program will will lull you to sleep AND strengthen your performance! Not only do you sleep better, but there are mind empowering suggestions that literally improve your dance presentation.

There are also muscle memory boosters in there BECAUSE THAT IS WHEN IT HAPPENS. Not at the studio where you are pounding it out. AT night is when muscle memory strengthens and if you are NOT sleeping you are losing out on an easy way to improve your dance.

Listen to it for one week and you'll be rested and dance better, I guarantee it! ... Hey Dance Magazine likes it!

Have fun reading Cassandra's blog!

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Therapist

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dear Sanna - Performances

It's funny, I was just discussing with a friend what I liked about dancing here, and a lot had to do with performance experience. I think I have grown a lot this year when it comes to performing, since there is so much.

First of all, I really know what I need to do to warm up and prepare myself for a show now. I do class as full out and close to normal as possible. I treat it like any other day, because for me it is more important to get warm and feel normal than to save my energy or something for the show. I always have enough energy. Then after class I know I need to stay warm with the right warm ups and the most important things I need to stretch or re-warm up before the show. For example, I always stretch my frog and splits as a priority.

I am also getting better and knowing when and how to do my hair and makeup so I am not stressed for time before the show. Usually with school shows there is plenty of time, but here we are constantly touring different places with different dressing rooms and not always a lot of time.

After this it's just important to relax and talk to others if you want, but also know how to block people out if you feel you need to focus. Depending on the piece, I usually like to at least think through all the choreography in my head, and often practice things on stage before the show. If we don't do spacing together, I like to see where I will dance, so there are no surprises on stage. Things like this make me feel more comfortable when I am performing.

When the curtain actually goes up, I either try to distract myself from nerves back stage with whatever, if it is a piece where I need a lot of character more than technique, or I really focus on what's going on and what I'm about to dance if it's something technically demanding. When I am dancing I try to think of something pleasant and simple in the back of my mind, so I can let my muscle memory perform the steps without my mind wandering too much. I try to practice this kind of thinking even in the studio rehearsals. I try to picture what the stage might be like and pretend each rehearsal is a show, so I can dance just like I do in the studio.

Most of these things really seem like common sense, but at least for me it took experience to really apply a lot of simple ideas. Just dancing like you do in the studio on stage sounds simple but takes a lot of mind power.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

DanceMind: Dear Janie, SPRING into Performances

Bell sent me an email -- She says that back stage is very crazy that it is hard for her to keep calm. There are moments when she wants to scream. She went on to say that she feels as if she stumbles onto the stage and it takes several beats to get her footing. 

Any one else?

Friday, March 20, 2009

DanceMind: Dear Janie, SPRING into Performances

With Spring performances around the corner, it may be a good idea to discuss how to manage oneself back stage so that no matter what happens you can move into performance with strength and power. 

First -  What do you currently do that helps you? How do you manage yourself?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DanceMind:Dear Janie, Uncontrollables

Be Ready.

Dear Sanna - these days

The other day I found myself the first one in the studio before rehearsal, so I was alone with the artistic director.
"Janie I was watched you in the performance yesterday."
Oh no. "Oh?"
"Yes. Nice legs. Good girl"
"And in the first piece, you did Rachel's part?"
"I couldn't tell if it was you or her. Good girl! Good energy"
"Oh good thank you!"

I was shocked. Actually something nice to say without one backhanded addition! It was such a nice change. But not to worry - I always find something to complain about...

Today when the schedule finally came, about 30 minutes before class, which is so typical, we found out we had a photo shoot in costume. I was so annoyed. They could've at least told us yesterday so we knew to wear a little makeup, do our hair nicely, and even not eat such a huge breakfast since the costumes happen to be extremely revealing unitards. Grrrrrr. So luckily some people had a little makeup we could all borrow while we frantically tried to get ready. I didn't even have proper underwear for the costume, so I had to wear tights underneath. Just so many annoying things that could have been so easily resolved if they had given us even 12 hours notice. Ahhh well but life goes on. Hopefully I got a few decent pictures...


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DanceMind:Dear Janie, IN between the dancing

Your post on 3/11 reveals how the time in between performance can influence stage presence.

Rushing, new marks, new choreography, a change of costume, last minute changes .... You can literally feel as you are thrown out on the stage on pointe no less! There is a lot of activity back stage that can distract you unless you take charge of 'a controllable.'

There is noise and movement that you cant stop and some of it is necessary.

Let's a take a look at this 'in between the performance' experience.

Any thoughts can be helpful. Struggles, Insights ... Become aware.

I have to prepare here for a client --
Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT
Performance Specialist and Therapist

Saturday, March 14, 2009

DanceMind: Dear Janie, Hello there ...

Well, where have I been?  This last week has been excitingly busy. I am off to sleep because tomorrow I am headed to day 6 of Hellinger training.  This work would be likened to you loving a certain piece of choreography. It feels good, You have a lot to learn. Yet it resonates within you. You have to do it. You have to dance it. It takes your breath away.

What I wonder as I consider this healing work with performers -- I wonder who is sometimes in the way of a performer/dancer when they cannot or struggle to succeed?  Sometimes it is not who you think. (Hint -- Not you!)

I am looking to connect the dots here.

Janie,  The less resistance you have to such shifts and changes the more flexible you are in mind and body. You are free to dance.

Your list of controllables a few posts back are actually pretty good. I am pleasantly surprised. You have learned a lot.

It is step after step after step after step after step after step after step after step ........................

Back in touch.

Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHT

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Sanna - That's show business

Friday the company lost two girls. It wasn't such a horrible thing they left, because the artistic director didn't exactly love them, so they also weren't extremely happy. However, it was a really inconvenient time to lose two members of our corps. We had to have an emergency rehearsal, shifting everyone around for our performance Tuesday, which meant me doing a few extra little things, and one completely new part I had only understudied before, not to mention dealing with a lot of other slightly confused people on stage. So it was the day of the show and I had had ONE rehearsal of the new part, and of course we had no time to get ready. I was putting my shoes on when the ballet mistress grabbed me and the other two girls who do the new part with me to quickly space it on stage before the show, which was kind of important and good, but also then I really had to rush to get ready, which is sort of stressful. Anyway there were a few terrifying moments, but for the most part it was okay. After the new part was over though, I still had the entire ballet to do like normal.

With a few changes in the corps, I found myself on the wrong side of the stage at one point, and wearing the wrong costume at another. Luckily for me, I have observant and kind friends who went out of their way to tell me I was wrong, so nothing tragic actually happened. Just some REALLY quick switching of sides and costumes. But the ballet mistress gave good feedback, even if it was "good under the circumstances".

Then after the show, since we had spent a lot of time changing that performance, we had neglected what we are performing tomorrow, so we had to stay the whole rest of the day rehearsing. I was also just thrown into a new part in this ballet, too, so I am really having to think quickly this week. I am just trying my best to just focus on the choreography, so I have fun and dance and do my best. If I focus on the negative, I will only sabotage my performance.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dear Sanna - Controllables

Okay I've been thinking about what is in my control, so here's what I have so far...

Things I can control at work:

1. My attendance
2. My work ethic
3. Practicing the choreography I know/learning what I can
4. How I treat others
5. My body (to an extent)
6. My technique (to an extent)
7. How I respond to feedback, positive or negative

Things out of my control:

1. My schedule
2. The classes and pieces I am given
3. Casting
4. Poor teaching or no teaching of choreography
5. How others treat me
6. The director's thoughts about my body, both true and untrue
7. The director's opinion of my dancing
8. How teachers correct me